Monday, 13 February 2012

Restoration Refused for 'Historic' Wooden Bus Stop

When is a bus shelter not a bus shelter? Well, when it's a piece of local history, that's when.

At least, that what one former resident of the leafy village of Kingsbury, Warwickshire thinks. She's been kicking up a fuss about the removal of what she describes as an 'historic wooden bus shelter' in the village.

The shelter, which indeed is made of wood, was built during the 1950's and is now the only wooden shelter in the village, the others having been progressively replaced over the years with shiny new metal and perspex ones.

Now, rot and vandalism has finally caught up with the last remaining wooden shelter and it too is set to be replaced. All of which has come as a bit of a shock to former resident Lisa Hartle, who grew up in the village and says she is "disgusted" at the council's decision to demolish the shelter when she'd offered to help raise money to restore it.

"It's not just a bus shelter, it's a part of the village's history," she says. “It is a bit of history and culture that is being lost."

Yet despite emails to Kingsbury Parish Council begging them to give her time to "raise the necessary amount to have the parts replaced or a replica made", the council voted for demolition and replacement with a new shelter exactly matching the one on the opposite side of the road, with a transparent plastic rear panel.

Lisa is clearly upset. "It is such a lovely bus shelter, and so fitting for a village as opposed to the green metal type at the other end of the village," she says.

"I do not even live there and I was prepared to raise money to save the shelter.”

The council were not unsympathetic and even offered to make a grant of £100 to help with repairs. But it was in an advanced state of decomposition.

“The four main posts were absolutely rotted," claimed one councillor.

"When we went to see the shelter, one of the problems raised was that children misbehave in it. A plastic window would deter that.

"It is a much-loved shelter, but I really think it has come to the end of its days.

"It's very sad."

Sad, yes. But whether their bus shelters are modern or historic, at least they still have buses stopping at them. I suspect that's more than some people living in rural areas could say.

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